Jim Finn

Still from "Interkosmos"



71 minutes

Interkosmos started out in 2003 as a short film about an East German space mission whose communist mascot was the “meerschweinchen” or guinea pig. Planned as a sequel to my film about the capitalist “wustenspringmaus” or gerbil, it began to grow to include a space capsule interior, humans in costume, and a dance number. I wanted the film to look as if I had been allowed to edit audio and film footage from the East German space archives. Many of the scenes are recreations and variations of actual training photos of the cosmonauts. The music is original, but I gave recordings of 70s German pop and international communist songs to the musicians for inspiration. I wanted the energy and idealism of the Marxist left to be a part of the film and to create a communist love story in the process as well as a kind of funeral dirge for a 75-year-old experiment in social and economic engineering.

Though the film is made in the style of a 70s documentary, it has the structure of a Hollywood musical. There is a musical number every 8-12 minutes, which was about standard in the MGM musicals. There is an overture, exit music, and a kind of intermission to the film— – the field hockey number is right in the middle. A real intermission would not have worked in a 71-minute film. After nearly two years of trying to figure out the story and how to make it, we built the sets and started filming in March 2005. Though the story was mostly worked out ahead of time, I did not actually write the script until after filming. After a number of revisions, I had the dialogue and letters translated into German and found the voice actors to dub the film. I cannot give enough thanks to the arts community in Chicago as well as family, friends and collaborators who helped with suggestions, sewing, gripping, shopping, driving, loading and hammering among other things.

Decalogue : Films You Can Count on Two Hands

Still from "Interkosmos"

Still from "Interkosmos"

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